TOKYO , Dec. 18 -- ( Kyodo ) _ The government is planning to lift the ceiling of interest-free loans to struggling Tokyo Electric Power Co. from the current 5 trillion yen to 9 trillion yen for funding compensation of victims of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and decontamination efforts, a source familiar with the plan said Tuesday. The amount is squeezed from an earlier considered 10 trillion yen because compensation payments are now estimated to show a smaller increase than previously thought, the source said. It will be finalized at a meeting later this month of the government's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters and included in TEPCO's restructuring plan. The 4 trillion yen increase comprises 500 billion yen for compensation, 2.5 trillion yen for decontamination and 1 trillion yen for the construction and management of interim storage facilities for radioactive materials. Under the government's plan, lending will be provided in the form of a bond that may be cashed by TEPCO when needed.
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